Covid Update 2020

Updated June 7, 2020

Art First Closed for 2020

I made the decision to cancel all camps for 2020. It was a difficult decision, made with a lot of tears. However, I know it is the right decision that best protects the safety of your child and our staff. Below is the email I sent to our parents with a child registered in the last 6 weeks of camp.

Hello Everyone,

I’ve made the heartbreaking decision not to open Art First Inc. this summer and cancel the remaining six weeks of camps. 

For the last week after the camp guidelines came out, I have worked hard to create a camp experience that would be within the guidelines and restrictions given to us by the state and also creative, full of exploration, experimentation and just fun.  To meet the state requirements, I could have opened camp with a very small number of students who would be assigned an eight foot table with art supplies designated for each table. They would be required to create at their table except for social distancing breaks and we would not be able to have before care or after care.   As I continued to explore the options, I could not find a way to develop a camp experience that protected children and staff and also provided the fun and creative experience you expect from Art First.

We will begin the process of refunding tuition in full on Monday.

I hope with all my heart that we will be back in 2021 doing what we love.  I am sad and heartbroken for our families, for our young artists who love spending the summer with us and for all of us at Art First. We will truly miss all of you!

Stay safe and well.


Weeks 1-4 are cancelled

Posted May 17, 2020

On Friday, I made the decision to cancel the first four weeks of camp (through July 2). I am still hoping to open the program for the last six weeks based on government guidance and our ability to keep your child and our staff safe. Below is the email I sent to parents with a child registered in the affected camps:

Hello, Everyone,

Your child is registered for a camp at Art First in the weeks of June 8 to July 2. In light of the current health crisis and out of caution and concern for our students and for the staff, I have decided to cancel the first four weeks of summer camps (June 8-July 2).

I am still hoping to open the camp in July for the final six weeks of the summer. I will review the situation at the end of May and decide whether to open or remain closed for those weeks. I hope by then we will have guidelines from the governor and the CDC as to what is required and what camps must do in order to run…i.e. social distancing, smaller classes, etc.

The following camps are canceled:

Week 1: June 8-12

It’s a Snowy Day
Masterpieces Without Brushes
Look No Brushes
Hurray! It’s a Snow Day
Funky, Chunky Cityscapes

Week 2: June 15-19

Beachballs, Sand & Sun
Walking on Sunshine
Sunshine and Lollipops
Beach Blanket Bingo
Watercolors and Alcohol Inks Magic

Week 3: June 22-26

Piggy Party
High up in the Trees
Up in the Trees
Those Crazy Pigs
The Incredible Tree:  A Mixed Media Adventure

Week 4: June 29-July 2

Christmas in July
The Ornament Extravaganza
Deck the Halls
Christmas in July Celebration
Harry Potter Yule Ball

We will begin sending out refunds for the cancelled camps this week. If the tuition was paid by credit card, it will be refunded back to your card and may take a week to show up in your statement. Please let me know if it does not. If you paid by cash or check, we will send you a check.

I understand how disappointing this is to everyone and how much we all look forward to our creative summers together. However, my overwhelming concern is to make sure that your child is safe at Art First and at this time I don’t think that I can do that. I know in my heart that this is the responsible and right thing to do. Please let me know if you have questions or concerns. You can reach me on my cell which is listed below or by email.

I look forward to a time when we can safely create together. Take care of yourselves and stay safe and well.

Best wishes,


Splendiferous Birds

The splendiferous birds have returned! Colorful, sophisticated, sassy, regal and just plain adorable. Come join the fun while transforming a gooseneck gourd into a work of art. Dig into mounds of feathers, jars of buttons, luscious paint colors, jewels and beads, flowers, feathery plumes and much, much more. Then watch the magic happen! Personality pops out, attitude appears and a star is born. What could be more fun?

Details: Week 5 (July 6-10), Ages 9-14. View Class Description Register soon!! This camp is filling up quickly.

Summer Camp 2020

It’s that time! Our 2020 summer program is online and ready for registration. We are so proud of the artistic and creative opportunities we have for your young artists this summer. We can’t wait!

This year, you will see some changes in our program. Due to a Delaware regulation, summer camps cannot offer camps to four year old children. In order to comply with the regulation, we have raised our minimum age to 5 and adjusted our age groups to 5-6 year old, 7-8 year old and 9-14 year old.

Art First Inc - Summer Art Camp for Kids - Hockessin DEWe know there will be four year old artists that will be upset because they cannot create with us. We also know there will be disappointed eight year old artists who were looking forward to more challenging projects this summer. Because of this, we’ve taken the opportunity to revise the camp content in each class and make sure that the 7-8 year old camps will be age-appropriate, creative, and fun. These camps will contain more challenging projects than we are teaching the younger artists and provide creative learning opportunities as well a fun!

Please know that we understand this is new and different for you as it is for us. We are working through this with you. Our goal is still the same – Art First is committed to offering high quality programs where our young artists will have a creative experience like no other.

We are so excited about the upcoming camps. Glow in the dark paint, hammers, marshmallows, clay, collage, woodworking, forest hideaways, needle felting, mixed media, watercolors, alcohol inks and lots, lots more! It’s going to be an amazing summer! Don’t miss the fun!

See you soon!

Alcohol Ink Birdhouse Gourd

Kids shouldn’t have all the fun in the summer. Our adult workshops on Alcohol Ink and Cannonball Gourd Lanterns were so much fun, we had to squeeze in one more workshop.

Alcohol Ink Birdhouse Gourd

Art First Inc - Summer Art Camp for Kids - Hockessin DE
  • Workshop Date: Thursday, July 18, 2019
  • Time: 6:30-8:30
  • Registration Deadline: Friday, July 12, 2019
  • Cost: $40

Transform a dried gourd into a stunning garden birdhouse through the magic of alcohol inks. Learn new techniques, experiment with favorite color palettes and watch the stunning colors transform a plain gourd into a work of art. Watch the inks drip and slide across the surface to create a stone like appearance and add luminous highlights with metallic inks for pizazz. Take home* an exquisite birdhouse for the birds to enjoy.

*Due to time restraints, please leave the bird house overnight to be sealed then pick up the following day.

Reminder: There is still time to register for the Harry Potter adult workshop on Thursday, August 1, 2019.

General information: All workshops will be held at Art First, Inc. (728 Yorklyn Road, Hockessin, DE 19707, 1-302-239-3544) All supplies will be provided. Wear old clothes that will be improved by paint smears and blobs. Harry Potter costumes will “disappear” when the paint “flies”. Come prepared for a creative adventure.

This is a nut free facility. Nut free snacks and beverages are welcomed. In order to keep our young artists safe during the week, please do not bring any snacks or drinks that contain peanuts or tree nuts or are processed in a facility with peanuts or tree nuts.

Adult Evening Art Workshops, Summer 2019

Our young artists have so much fun during the summer that we decided to spread the fun around!  Come join us for three evenings of art and fun…just for adults.  Learn about alcohol inks, create gourd lanterns, and spend the evening with Harry Potter and all the magic that abounds there!  Join us for one or all of the evening workshops and bring a friend along.

Alcohol Ink Fun

Art First Inc - Summer Art Camp for Kids - Hockessin DE
  • Workshop Date: Thursday, June 20, 2019
  • Time:  6:00-9:00 pm
  • Registration deadline: Friday, June 14, 2019
  • Cost:  $50

Come play with alcohol inks!  Explore the magic of this medium and learn new techniques for painting with this unpredictable medium.  Create two tile paintings and a painting on Yupo paper*.  Don’t miss out on the fun! 

*Due to time restraints, artists will receive instructions on how to seal the works of art at home.

Cannonball Gourd Lantern

Art First Inc - Summer Art Camp for Kids - Hockessin DE
  • Workshop Date:  Thursday, June 27, 2019
  • Time:  6:00-9:00 pm
  • Registration deadline: Friday, June 21, 2019
  • Cost:  $65 for small gourd/ $70 for larger hanging gourd

Use a Dremel to turn a plain gourd into a work of art!  Plan a design and transform a cannonball gourd into a light display that bathes a room with spectacular patterns of light*.  Stunning and fun!

*Plug in light cord will be provided.  Larger gourds meant to hang can be purchased for an additional $5 dollars.  Please indicate choice when registering.

Harry Potter

Art First Inc - Summer Art Camp for Kids - Hockessin DE
  • Workshop Date:  Thursday, August 1. 2019
  • Time:  6:00-9:00 pm
  • Registration deadline: Friday July 26, 2019
  • Cost:  $50

Attention Harry Potter Fans!  Tonight is for adult fans only!  Wear your costume and come prepared for magical thrills.  Watch the Sorting Hat at work and begin the adventure.  First stop:  “The Art of Paint”.  Cast a spell on a paint brush to create an enchanting magical owl that Hedwig would be proud to have in the owl post.  Next stop: “Disappearance of Socks” class.  With a flick of the wand conjure up a “Free Dobby” laundry helper to cast a spell on socks that magically lose their mate.  Discover fortunes, take pics in front of Platform Nine and Three Quarters and have a ball.  Who knows what will happen on this magical evening!  Better brush up on the Harry Potter trivia!  Hurry to Platform Nine and Three Quarters and join the fun!

Sign up early and join us!  We can’t wait for our adult artists to “wow” us!

General Information:   All workshops will be held at Art First, Inc.  (728 Yorklyn Road, Hockessin, DE |302-239-3544).  All supplies will be provided.  A light dinner of snacks and beverages will be served.  Wear old clothes that will be improved by paint smears and blobs. Harry Potter costumes will “disappear” when the paint flies. Come prepared for a creative adventure.

Workshop fees include tuition and a materials fee.  Refunds are given if the request is made 15 days prior to the scheduled date of the workshop.  Refunds for withdrawal less than 15 days prior to the scheduled workshop will be issued only if the slot is filled.  No walk-ins are accepted.  Registrations will close a week before the workshop to ensure needed supplies are available. 

This is a nut free facility.  In order to keep our young artists safe during the week, please do not bring any snacks or drinks that contain peanuts or tree nuts.

P.S.  Please let us know what other workshops we can provide that will inspire your inner artist! 

The Tale of the Tower

Art First Inc - Summer Art Camp for Kids - Hockessin DE

The lonely board was begging for color….

So – color is what happened…

Layers and layers of it: Clear Gesso, Black Gesso, NeoColor II Crayons, Acrylic Inks, paint pens in fluorescent and metallic hues, and metallic paints.

Brushes were not the instrument for painting…oh, no!

The vibrant colors were: Scraped, dripped, smeared and swirled.

Art marks took flight and dots, dashes, spirals, swirls and squiggle writing added to the layers of color. Stencils sporting circles of all shapes and sizes added elegant black to the surface. Happy accidents appeared.  No worries!  Just more fun!

White pens and metallic markers created “zing” and upholstery tacks gave finished elegance.

The result: A tower of color, layers and layers of it…sad no more with lots of tales to tell!

What more can be added?  Come join us and see!

Wire, metal, copper enameling…anything goes! 

Just don’t leave the lonely board plain! 

Join us for “The Tale of the Tower”, Ages 8-14, Week 4, July 1,2,3

Art First Inc - Summer Art Camp for Kids - Hockessin DE

Sweet Dreams Café

Spend the week having fun at the Art First “Sweet Dreams Café”. Grab a chef’s hat and an apron and join this “culinary” adventure!

Fill the café with…
A kitchen for preparing delicious “confections” and tables decorated with hand painted tableware and illustrated menus

Create and “bake” …
Giant “cookies, fruits of all shapes and sizes, and mini cupcakes with spectacular icing…all from clay

Expand the menu…
Design edible art bouquets and fashion decorative garnishes…for another special celebration at the café. Shh…it’s a secret!

Don’t forget the monstrous classroom “cake” …
Decorate it with brilliant colors. Add pom poms, glitter and “sprinkles” of all colors and sizes. Stand back and admire the skilled handiwork!

Celebrate on Friday…
Bring a favorite stuffed bear or animal to dine at the café. Serve these favorite customers the custom-made “delicacies”. Then join in the fun for a delicious spread in the café. Who knows what the specialty of the day will be?????

Continue the adventure…
Gather up the clay creations and props for more fun and creative play at home. What will the name of that café be?

Register now for Sweet Dreams Café, Ages 4-5 and 6-7, Week 7, July 22-26

Adventures in 3-D

Boxes and boxes to stack. How high can they go?
Mounds and mounds of wood…piled high, overlapped, glued.
Handfuls of pom poms of all colors and sizes…glittery ones too.
Jars of buttons in every shape, color and size
Glittering jewels sparkling
Yards of yarn in the colors of the rainbow…

What can be created with all these goodies????

Imaginary playgrounds sporting vivid watercolor and oil pastel finishes
Warm and cool canvases adorned with squiggles of yarn, glitter glue, buttons galore, translucent glitter, pom poms and more!
Wire sculptures twisting and turning
And – 3-D collages fun of color and fun!

Join the fun during “Adventures in 3-D”, Week 1, June 10-14, Ages 4-5 and 6-7.

Amazing Landscapes and Vibrant Villages


Cabinet doors transformed with the vibrant colors of Unicorn SPiT – blue, teal, purple and a tinge of white.


Bowls of sea glass, rocks, buttons, glass cabochons, marbles, pearls, seed beads, shells, colored wooden matchsticks, mirror tiles, pearls, old jewelry …bowls and bowls of ephemera just waiting to become part of a masterpiece.


Creating a cliffside village with collected driftwood anchoring whimsical cottages – all made from cut wooden spools.

Imagine the fun…

Creating swirls of beads, bridges of stones, path of pearls, moons hanging from rhinestones, and suns sparkling with gleaming beads and shiny buttons.

Imagine…just imagine…

Creating the perfect place to dwell…

Our young artists did just that in 2018 and they were spectacular…just spectacular!! 

Photos: “A Perfect Place to Dwell” Camp, July, 2018

Don’t miss the fun this summer….

The Unicorn SPiT, cabinet doors, and bowls of ephemera will be back again in 2019.  This summer our artists will be creating horizontal assemblages of villages nestled in the rolling hills of the countryside as well as painting acrylic landscapes.

Amazing Landscapes and Vibrant Villages, Week 5, July 8-12, Ages 8-10 and 11-14

Painting Self Portraits

Are we creative?
Do our artists create amazing masterpieces?
Do our artists have fun!
Perfect example: Self-portraits using a glue technique.
Our artists created masterpieces of themselves…colorful, large, abstract!
They used simple supplies… photographs, transparencies, an overhead projector, large stretched canvases, pencils, glue, acrylic paints…and… vivid imaginations thinking in brilliant color.
Voila! Striking works of art!

Photos: “The Great Pour” Camp, Ages 8-14, June, 2018